Inspiration / Music Therapy / Speech Therapy
by Lauren Koepke, Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC)
Even though school is out for the summer, that doesn’t mean your child stops learning. It’s not a vacation from everything! The summer months can be a time to relax and enjoy those beautiful Hawaiian beaches, but it can also be an opportunity to capitalize on extra time for speech and language. Children learn well from playing and it’s an excellent way to have fun while teaching your children.
In music therapy here at Speech Solutions, I personally enjoy incorporating silly and playful things. The best part it is that I’m so sneaky sometimes the kids think they are just having fun but really they’re working hard! Find songs and games that target your child’s specific speech needs. For example, if your child has difficulty with vowel sounds, find an activity that uses silly sounds. Don’t be afraid to change the activity around and get creative to fit your child. The biggest tip I can give though is this: Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to be a little extra silly with your kids. I know as adults sometimes it can be hard to let go of our inhibitions and not want to feel uncomfortable. However, when you’re relaxed and free, this encourages your child to participate and enjoy the learning process. When kids feel more relaxed and that they’re in a safe space, they are more likely to produce quality language.
Music has been used time and time again as an educational tool. Just think of Schoolhouse Rock and you’ll know exactly what I mean. According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), music therapy helps to, “foster the development of motor, communication, cognitive, and social abilities in students”. If your child is having a hard time with specific words or concepts, try having them sing it instead. Research shows that singing and language are located in opposite hemispheres of the brain. By encouraging your child to sing, you are helping them develop new neural pathways in the brain! AMTA also states because music is processed differently, it can give the child a new way to take in and retain information. Music therapy gives the child, “…an initial assist using melodic and rhythmic strategies, followed by fading of musical cues to aid in generalization and transfer to other learning environments”. So do your child a favor, and bring more music into the home. You’ll be amazed at the benefits. If you are interested in receiving music therapy services or have questions, please call our office to set up an appointment!
Also, make sure to visit our Facebook page for ideas on things to do this summer and remember to have fun with your children!